Organizations have witnessed a great development from the olden times particularly in respect of structure, operations and people. There is a considerable change in the cross-culture environment, influence of MNCs, growth in the technical know-how and quality management which has provided different environment in the modern organizations. Some of the important trends observed are mentioned below:
- Emerging employment relationships
- changing workforce
- Knowledge Management
- Information technology and OB
Organisation in recent days has changed the style of working and tries to spread worldwide. Trapping new market place, new technology or reducing cost through specialization or cheap labour are few of the different reasons that motivates organizations to become global Moreover the way companies integrate their business practices with other countries has also changed. Instead of controlling the whole supply chain countries outsource some part of it to gain advantage of specialization.
Thomas Friedman highlights this phenomenon in his book “The world is flat” There are several types of organizational changes that has occurred to help business adopt to globalization, as the old principles no longer work in the age of globalization Strategic changes, technological change, change in organizational cultural including organizational structural change and a redesign of work tasks are some of the important one.
In line with these changes, there is strong expectation of employee to improve their knowledge and become an integral part of successful business formula in order to respond to the challenges brought by the global economy. In other words it leads to formation of a learning organisation, which is characterized by creating, gaining and transferring the knowledge, and thus constantly modifying the organizational behavior.
Emerging employment relationship
Changing trends in organisations in recent years have made it utmost important to consider some of the emerging employee relations issues which can affect employers in the coming decade. Understanding these issues will help management to better plan and respond to changes in the workplace. Employer employee relationship is also showing change in the modern era. Employers are no more autocrats and participative style of leadership is welcomed.
Flexible working hours and increased authority motivates employees to perform to their best. Management now welcomes upward communication and participation of lower level employees in the decision making process.
The demographic of the workforce has changed in the recent years.. This is due to a number of factors such as an aging population, labour shortages and immigration. Another significant factor that has changed the workforce is the changes in the attitudes of workers. Employers need to adapt their recruitment, training and management processes to adapt to changing workforce.
An example of this is that where employers may have previously looked to younger people as a source of recruits, they may now have to broaden their view as there are currently a large number of older people either currently employed or seeking employment. These people may need extra training to bring their skills up to date.
New parents now want to work closer to home or from home, employers may find that they need to make this a possible option in order to retain or find new staff. Allowing people to work from home will also make the employer and job more attractive to a wider range of people.
Recent days is also witnessing a shortage of skilled labour in many sectors. Hence employers may have to take on less skilled workers initially and develop them, rather than simply hiring experienced people. Hiring employees from overseas also serves the purpose.
Knowledge management is a structured activity that improves an organization’s capacity to acquire, share, and utilize knowledge for its survival and success. Knowledge management is around us from a very long period of time in one form or the other. The decisions we make and the action we take both are enabled by knowledge of some type. Hence to improve quality of these actions and decisions it is important to understand the process of knowledge management.
Studies in knowledge management has proved an inseparable relationship between knowledge management and organizational culture (Davenport and Prusak,2000; Von Krogh, 2000; Nonaka and Takeuchi, 1995) Research has also proved that organizational culture is a major barrier to leveraging intellectual assets. They focus on four ways in which culture influences organizational behaviours central to knowledge creation, sharing, and use.
The first is the shared assumptions about what knowledge is and which knowledge is worth managing. Second is the relationship between individual and organizational knowledge. Third is the context for social interaction that determines how knowledge will be used in particular situations. Fourth is the processes by which knowledge is created, legitimated, and distributed in organizations.
There are three basic elements of knowledge management
- Knowledge acquisition: It is method of learning through experiences, sensation or perception.
- Knowledge sharing: Knowledge sharing is a process through which knowledge is shared among family, friends or any community.
- Knowledge dissemination: It is conceptual and instrumental use of new knowledge. Increased awareness and ability to make informed choice among available alternatives are the outcomes of knowledge dissemination.
- Knowledge maps: Knowledge maps guide employees to understand what knowledge is needed to increase their efficiency and productivity and where these knowledge are located.
Information Technology and OB
Technological change and advancement is one of the most salient factors impacting organizations and employees today. In particular, the prominence of information technology (IT) has grown many folds in recent years. This innovation in IT has opened new ways for conducting business that are different from the past. Technology has changed the nature of work as well as the roles of employees.
Managerial decision making, stress handling, and attitude towards work have changed as an impact of technology. It is also seen from decades that there is a normal tendency of human being to resist to changes, making adoption of new technologies a little difficult.
It has become important for the business and management to understand and take these issues into consideration while introducing or implementing any new technology. Frequent sessions on change management can help employees understand, use and adopt new technologies easily.